A quiet week of scanning.

One of my goals in 2019 was to post several times a week, but already I got a little behind. For the last week or so I have been scanning our pictures packed away. I did this about two years ago shortly after my parents passed. it was done in a hurry, the scan qualities probably not the best, but I did it so I could get the degrading photos safely saved and handed out to my family members.

The photos from my childhood had traveled with us homeless for years, we moved more than 20 times in my childhood (eviction, poverty and homelessness) and this meant all we had left were some ratty photo albums that we kept no matter what. So when my parents died, I figured it was important to scan them, evidently not as important to my family in the end. Lesson learned on that front.

Now that we are settled and I am taking some photo restoration online classes I am learning a lot. I want to go back through not just my childhood, but the hubby and I’s photos and scan everything that I WANT. I make this distinction because there were a lot of photos I scanned that I had no idea who the person was, where it was at, etc. It was only done in case someone wanted it in the future. Now that I am doing it for myself, I can be picky. The other problem is my organization when I scanned it makes it hard to figure out what photos I want to keep and if I can get them in better quality, so here we are scanning.

That being said, being picky is pretty hard. I can for the most part not blink as I put aside photography dealing with people I don’t know who they are. I can also avoid photos of scenic (or not so scenic) views of places that don’t mean so much to me.

I have however found it difficult anyways to not scan some stupid imagery. Not that it means anything to me, but I think it is some sort of resonance, or worry that I don’t want to lose what my parents were looking at, at one point in time of their life. It makes me super anxious that I might be squishing out their point of view.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still not scanning all of the photos I will never look at anyways, but it does give me anxiety about doing it. I am about 1/3 of the way done after a week and I will be glad to have it done, and stop the scanning.

At least at that point I can use my computer to figure out duplicates, remove them. Then remove photos I can’t restore and are no good. I will then go back through my current photo library (after backing it up) and deleting or replacing photos I don’t want or need.

The other good experience is I am learning pretty fast how to restore photos, it is both easier and harder than you would think. Hey, maybe now that my job prospects are shakier with being out and trans I might be able to pick up a little side money restoring photos, or even photo manipulation.

Either way, next couple of weeks will be busy as I do this.

Recovering Faded Photos (photoshop)

First let us make it clear at the time of this I am not a photoshop expert. I learn by showing others, so this is my inaugural photoshop trick/lesson. This time we are going to be trying to recover an old faded photo (misnomer, it is actually compacted, but faded is what everyone catches innately). This is done in less than 10 minutes (probably less than 5). There are multiple ways to do this, this is the one I know at this time and is pretty simple. I will also touch it up a little at the end.

Setup: In order to setup, make sure your image is scanned with the highest pixel count you can get (this photo is 600px scanning resolution), and scan it as RGB.

    1. Select yourself a nice faded photo for your use. Here is my grandfather and his mother in 1952 
    2. You will need to edit out the entire border area, the extra white space will from the photo will cause problems, so just crop it out. 
    3. The first thing you will do is make an adjustment using the levels tool located usually on the right of your workspace. Click it open and you will see how will show a histogram.

      Histogram for level adjustment
    4. The histogram graph should stretch from 0 to 255, but in older photos the black gets pushed into the middle, leaving it almost zero before and after the histogram in the middle. This effects how your photo looks. This is why it is actually not a faded photo, but the information has been compressed and doesn’t fully stretch out. From here it is going to be simple, select Adjust Levels, then where it says RGB click on the drop down menu and you will want to do this for each of the three levels, the R, the G, and the B.

      Selecting each section of the RGB
    5. You will want to pull the arrows on the bottom to be at the start of the actual histogram and the end of the histogram. The result is you would drag the left arrow until you get to the start of the histogram on the left, and drag the bottom arrow on the right (under 255) towards the left until you get  them to be at the start of both ends of the histograms. Once you are done it should look like this:

      Where to move your arrows to.
    6. From there I utilized the spot healing tool to do some cleanup on the photo (there was a couple of fold marks. However that isn’t required and I will cover how to use that in another quick tip. I just wanted to show you how I got rid of some of the bends if you noticed them.
    7. This is the final image, it is less than 10 minutes work (that includes a quick healing tool use.

      The final 10 minute or less quick touch up.
    8. This is a comparison photo between the two for the difference. I was actually shocked at how easy it was. I also found having to order it in a written blog format made it easier for me to remember as well. So be prepared for future things.
      The difference less than 10 minutes makes

       

      So there it is, my first quick photoshop tutorial. I love suggestions, comments or tips.

One quick note!!!  This logic works on other things as well, such as Mac’s Photos apps too. So I would follow same logic, same tools if you can and that should work if you don’t have photoshop.